Reasons Why Your Marriage Green Card May Have Been Denied

When it comes to marriage green cards, there are several factors that must be considered in order to show that your marriage is valid and authentic. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must take several precautions to ensure that eligible couples have genuine marriages so that they are able to live together in the United States.

Many marriage green card applicants may fear that their application will be denied, despite the fact that their application is free of red flags. For the most part, marriage-based green card applications have a fairly high approval; however, that doesn’t mean that they are never denied.

Below you will find the most common issues that occur for marriage-based green card applicants and what you can do to avoid them.

Failing to Prove a Valid and Authentic Marriage

The most important aspect of this application is that you are able to prove that you and your spouse have an authentic marriage. A marital relationship is absolutely essential and will provide you eligibility for a green card.

In order for you to prove that you have an authentic and legally recognize marriage, the USCIS will require a copy of your marriage certificate. Additionally, the place in which you were married must legally validate your marriage. Lastly, you must provide proof that any previous marriages have ended prior to when your current marriage began by providing divorce certificates or death certificates of your former spouse(s).

Below you will find examples of how you may be unable to prove that your marriage is legally authentic:

A spouse’s divorce was not finalized until after you were married.
You are a same-sex couple that was married in a country that does not formally recognize same-sex marriages.
Your marriage was not recognized in the country where you were married for alternative reasons, such as unapproved interfaith marriages within your country of origin.

In addition to the previous ways of establishing your marriage, you must justify that your marriage is authentic and not for the sole purpose of obtaining a green card. For example, you and your spouse will have to show evidence of your life together, such as finances, photos from travels, and birth certificates of your children if you have any.

If you have any other questions about proving your marriage is authentic, feel free to reach out to us to speak to a skilled family immigration lawyer.

Mistakes on the Green Card Application

A simple error can cause your green card application to be denied, and believe it or not, this is a very common mistake that applicants tend to make. In order to avoid this from happening, it is important that you thoroughly review your application materials prior to sending them to the USCIS.

Most importantly, you should contact a family based immigration lawyer to ensure that the entire process goes smoothly to avoid simple mistakes that can result in denial.

Below you will find the most common errors that applicants tend to make:

Failure to provide translations. Documents such as birth certificates and marriage certificates must be translated (word-for-word) into English. You will need to provide the non-English and English versions of documents. Keep in mind that these translations must be certified, along with the translator’s name, signature, and date in which the translation was made.
Missing information in the documents. Do not leave any of the spaces in the forms blank. If something does not apply to you, then write “N/A,” which means “not applicable.”
Issues with the photos. You must provide passport-style photos, which can be resized at most drug stores.
Inadequate fees. There are filing fees for a marriage-based green card, which are required and range from a total of $1,200 to $1,760.
Missing signatures. It is essential that you and your spouse have signed the required signature lines.

Inadequate Finances

In order for the U.S. citizen or green card holder to sponsor his or her spouse, it is essential that the sponsor proves that he or she has the financial resources to support the spouse. In general, the USCIS requires that the sponsor earns at least 125% of the Federal Poverty Level in order for the spouse to qualify for a marriage-based green card.


There are circumstances in which one may not be eligible, including:

  • Specific criminal records
  • Specific medical issues
  • Lies and misrepresentations

To learn more about the components that may make someone not eligible, speak to our knowledgeable attorneys at Alami Law.

Contact Us to Speak About Your Family Immigration Visa

If you are in need of legal help or advice regarding your marriage-based green card or family immigration visa status, feel free to contact us any time to speak to an immigration lawyer Los Angeles. We will get you the help you need to make sure that this process goes smoothly for you and your spouse.